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Do you want to run Microsoft Office on Windows on an iPad? Citrix has a way you can do that. There will be other solutions as well. If you think of the iPad as a thin client and your desktop as the host all kinds of possibilities open up.
What is a thin client?
For example, I am writing this right now on my iPad, over AT&T's 3G network. (Look ma, no WiFi!) My application is Google's "Blogger" blogging platform and the host is Google's servers running Linux. So there you are, my iPad is a thin client!
Think that way and the iPad does not have to be a powerful device. That's one of the things the iPad has going for it. It is a kick ass thin client computer!